In September 2022, Years 1 and 2 became our first mixed classes. Our staff have worked and will continue to work exceptionally hard to create a curriculum that ensures the needs of all children are met.
What is a Mixed Age Class?
A mixed age class is a class in which there are children who are from more than one-year group within the same classroom. At St Joseph’s and St Gregory’s we have mixed classes in Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2.
Across our school there is a wide range of ability and ensuring every child in every class makes progress is what we do every day.
At St Joseph’s and St Gregory’s, our teachers always ensure that:
- Children are not labelled according to ability.
- Our classroom practice allows pupils to take pride in their abilities as individuals, giving them constant motivation to improve.
- The pace of learning is individualised.
- Our children are viewed as unique individuals where we concentrate on what children can do, rather than what they can’t do. Our teachers focus on teaching each child according to his or her own strengths.
- There is challenge for all pupils at their own pace.
- Children develop a sense of family with their classmates.
What are the Benefits of Mixed Age Classes?
We have found that mixed age classes generate a family of learners who support and care for one another. Older children have the opportunity to serve as mentors and take leadership roles. These children model more sophisticated approaches to problem solving, helping younger children to accomplish tasks they would not be able to do independently whilst completing their own learning. This dynamic increases the older child’s level of independence and competence while increasing the younger child’s spirit of belonging in a community of learners. Younger children will have the opportunity to extend their learning and increase their vocabulary whilst working alongside older children. Mixed year classrooms promote friendship and provide extended contact with adults and peers of varying ages. All of our children have equal access to adult support, as mixed year groups will not increase class sizes.
Challenge and support
Our teachers work hard to produce quality planning which ensures the National Curriculum for both years is soundly embedded and mirrors the needs and interests of our children. We aim to provide challenge and success for all our pupils.
Our approach to mixed age teaching will reflect the best practice already in place at St Joseph’s and St Gregory’s.